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Wireless devices disrupt family's heating system

A Kingsclere family spent Christmas without heating and showers after all their wireless devices failed to operate for three days.

Chris Smith, of Ash Grove, awoke on Christmas Eve, his wife’s birthday, to find that the central heating, which relies on a wireless thermostat, did not work.

They immediately called for an emergency engineer but soon realised that despite having hot water, the shower, which had a digital control, also did not work at all.

When the engineer inspected their heating system he found that the fault was with the wireless communication system.

The engineer installed three new communication units in the boiler before giving up and telling the Smith family that the problem must have been external to their system.

Mr Smith said “I realised that there was a link between the boiler; the shower the doorbell and the car. “We spent Christmas without central heating and had the additional cost of buying an electric heater for the children’s bedrooms and extra logs for the wood burner.”

Mr Smith added that theirs was not an isolated case: “Through Facebook, we learned that we were not alone and that all over the village people were having problems with remote controls, car locking, etc.”

Mr Smith concluded that the common link between the devices was that they all used radio-frequency identification (RFID).